There is an alien history swelling inside me, swimming in my veins. Sometimes I remember things I never experienced.

Penny, and the other scientists working on this, tell us that the Martians were from another world, and that they modified themselves genetically to try and create the perfect invading force. I remember that, or the idea of it anyway. There were riots, and legislation, and all these concepts we know, playing out on a stage so unfamiliar to us as to be indecipherable otherwise. But trauma is the same everywhere, and it leaves its mark.

I don’t know how scientific what I feel is. No one has been able to prove the Martians were telepathic. But I know it’s real. I know I made a connection with Gerald, and that traces of them and their history are still with me.

There’s something I need to do about this. I don’t know what yet, but I have a lot of time to figure it out. And I plan to follow up on it.


Pastor Bob Gray is dead. He’s been losing his mind over the course of the last day, if it was ever there at all.

This morning the Martians managed to cave in part of the basement. We backed ourselves up as far away from the cave-in as we could, but it quickly became clear the only real option would be to hide ourselves around the corner, under the remnants of the cellar stairs, where the line of sight from the cylinder’s pit was broken.

That, and we would have to be very quiet.

The Pastor did not understand this last point too well. He started loudly ranting.

“These are the end times!” he shrieked. I shushed him but he continued, waving his hands about wildly. “There is no safety from the flaming sword of Abaddon, angel from the pit! These are his locusts, come to sweep the sinners away! And we have all failed the Lord! There is no mercy!”

I backed away from him on my hands and feet. What was left of our rations had been destroyed when the basement wall caved in. I slowly began to realize that I was stuck with a man who might at any moment give our shrinking location away to the Martians unloading their grisly rations right outside the basement. Martians who were hungry. Martians who were armed with instruments that drew blood in large quantities.

“The black pit is open!” the Pastor continued, howling. “God has forsaken us!”

As I backed away even farther, my hand brushed on a large, loose stone. I thought for a moment about zealotry, about my life and my sister, about conviction. In my head I thanked Penny for her restraint. I snatched up the stone, hurried forward, and brought it down on the Pastor’s head.

He yelped like a dog, an expression of wild exaltation stamped on his face, and then relaxed as he fell to the ground. I must point out here that he was not dead; I saw him breathing to the very last.

Here I have to admit to this next part being a bit of a blur. All I remember is the noise of it; hearing the Martian creep into the basement, stones cascading onto the floor in its wake. I remember this unrelenting feeling of being a trapped animal in its burrow, unable to escape, something truly unknowable coming for me, so above me it wasn’t even bothering to sneak.

I did see the Martian examining the Pastor; I don’t know how it didn’t see me. I imagine I must have scrambled to hide behind something. Maybe I picked up some of the planks from the staircase remnants and put them over most of my body, or maybe I just sat there waiting for death and the Martian overlooked me by a sheer miracle. But instead of being caught, I simply watched as the Martian, that permanent expression of self-assuredness and glee wrapped around its huge hideous face, drew its needle in a smooth motion and jammed it directly into the Pastor’s heart.

It knew, I remember thinking, one solid thought standing out in the rest of my panic and deliriousness. It knew where the human heart was. This isn’t the first time it’s done this. It knew, it knew, it knew…

Suffice to say I waited several hours. I waited until I couldn’t hear the Martians moving around outside anymore. Cautiously I peered around the corner of the stairwell, my view of the pit unimpeded by the wall that had been there previously. Red Weed crept about, and had almost reached me from the other side of the room, but other than that, no sign of the Martians. Their cylinder was gone, evidently disassembled, and a pile of dead Bloodbags were the only trace of the dirty work they’d done.

I scrambled, half-cautious, half-reckless, across the room and peered outside into the sweet, warm afternoon. The sky above me was a sickly purplish-blue, casting a surreal light through the cascade of spores drifting lazily through the alien air. No Martians. I started to make a mad dash away and then heard a pathetic chirp from behind me.

My heart leapt and I swirled around. Still no Martians, but one of the dead Bloodbags, well, wasn’t dead. Its bloated body shuddered, and something overtook me.

So, uh, I grabbed him. I took him with me. I’ve named him Gerald. Sue me, the world’s ended, I think I’m allowed a pet.

Where I've Been, part 2

The Martians are busy in the pit, but given the last few hours of noise, I don’t think they’re going to come for us if I just type this up.

Where did I leave off? Right, with Jeremiah leaving us in that hot nasty tent full of flies and particulate Red Weed for twelve more hours. The stranger next to me murmured and cried through the whole night. I couldn’t get to sleep. I felt for the man, but he was driving me nuts.

Someone kicked me awake while it was still dark out. “Change of plans.” A familiar voice - the guard who had called for Jeremiah earlier. He yanked me to my feet and threw me painfully over his shoulder, knocking the wind out of me, then did the same with my tent-mate. The giant of a man hauled us out to where three more white men were waiting, along with Jeremiah.

“Change of plans,” Jeremiah said, cutting the rope binding our ankles. “Sorry boys. Our three-legged friends’r gettin’ restless. Too close for comfort. Thinkin’ we should give ‘em what they’re after a little early.” The burly guard stood us up. “Can I trust you boys not to run? You won’t get very far, I can assure you of that. Just make it harder for yourselves ‘n the rest of us.”

The guard looked us over in the dim bioluminescent light of the Red Weed. None of the kindness of Jeremiah’s face, however artificial it was, had touched his. “Better not fuckin’ run, ni-”

And before he could even get the word out I heard the MMmmmmmuh-GAH! of the Martians’ horn, blaring somewhere within the mile.

Jeremiah cursed under his breath. “That right there. Hear it?” I heard something else, too, the sound of huge metallic thuds, coming closer and closer.

Jeremiah’s party glanced around nervously. “Uh, sir?” the guard chirped. “Don’tcha think-”

And the thing’s footfall, impossibly fast, collided with the camp and sent a thunderclap of dirt, grass, and tent canvas flying in all directions.

Myself, the stranger, and our captors all fell. I caught an almost comical expression of panic on Jeremiah’s face as he went down. All those years of gymnastics to try and impress boys who weren’t looking paid off in that moment. I pushed against the ground and hoisted myself to my feet.

“What are you doing!?” Jeremiah screamed at the air. “We had ‘em ready for you! You’re ruinin’ it!”

I stumbled over to the stranger, who was sluggishly attempting a similar maneuver to my own. “Come on,” I hissed. “Let’s get to the woods and away from these freaks. We can figure out how to get these off our wrists once we’re safe.”

Tears running down his wrinkled face, the stranger nodded, and, pushing against me for support, he got to his feet.

Something whizzed past my head from behind me, and in the commotion of the attack, I heard a gruff shout: “You fucking black bastards!” I snapped around to see Jeremiah, disheveled, eyes wide with fear and anger, gripping a pistol.

He fired again, and I flinched. And again. But he was at least twenty feet away, and both his hand and the ground shook. He squeezed the trigger again. Clink. And again. Clink.

Jeremiah dropped the pistol to the ruined earth and screamed. “Why are you doin’ this!?” He looked up, and at the same time so did I. There were at least three Martian war machines on the grounds of the camp, and at least one of them was gargantuan, the kind I remember Penny saying were taller than skyscrapers. “We were on your fuckin’ side!”

Two big bug eyes, eyes that would look silly in any other circumstance, smoothly looked from a burning tent to Jeremiah’s rage.

“Run!” I yelled, and as the stranger and I took off for the woods, I felt the heat of the war machines’ weapons, far too near.

We didn’t stop running for at least a mile. By the time I finally let myself fall over, my vision blurred and my legs screaming, I’d lost the stranger. I sat myself under a tree and felt around for a sharp branch or bit of bark. By the time my companion came stumbling up, coughing like a smoker, I had managed to free my wrists. Feeling came back into them with the circulation, and I realized this whole time I’d been unable to move my fingers. There had just been more pressing things to worry about.

“Here,” I said, “let me.” I untied my companion’s wrists and pocketed the rope, figuring I would regret letting it go in this oppressive new world. “I’m Anton.”

“Pastor Bob Gray,” the man wheezed.

“Let’s find somewhere safe and get some rest.”

“Yes. Safe.” And then, as if he was trying to give me whiplash: “No! I know where to go.”

“You do?”

“Yes. My church. There’s food there.”

And so we wandered through the woods, me following the pastor, until the first light of morning peered over the purple-red horizon.

“Is your church near here?”

“Near here. There’s food,” the pastor insisted.

I took a good look around. We’d ended up on top of a forested hill, with a dilapidated farm house to our west. I pointed.

“There,” I said. “Let’s go there.”

“But my church…” the pastor whimpered, total dejection in his voice.

“We’ll get there. Let’s just take a quick rest on the way, okay?”

So we descended the hill, him following me this time, and set up in the basement of the farm house, which contained several jars of pickles and a can of preserves. Both exhausted beyond words, we leaned against opposite walls of stone and fell into a deep sleep.

We were yanked out of our rest by a confusing and world-endingly loud noise, and the accompanying earthquake. The pastor screeched through a sore throat, and I admit I may have made a similar noise. At first my mind jumped to a war machine so tall it reached into the clouds, its gargantuan legs shifting tectonic plates every time it moved. Then one of the walls started to crumble, something pushing against it from the other side, and I realized what was happening.

“It’s a cylinder.” The words poured, dumb, from my mouth. “It landed on the house.” How in the hell could we possibly have been so unlucky for a cylinder to land directly on us, and so lucky to have it spare us?

“Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy,” the pastor squeaked, his face slick with tears, sweat, and dirt.

We learned quickly that the Martians could not see us, but we suspected they could hear us. We crowded around a small gap in the basement wall, our prying eyes obscured by a wisp of Red Weed, to see into the pit where the cylinder had landed. It had utterly obliterated the surrounding area. My immediate impression was that it was much smaller than the ones I’d seen on the news, and a bit differently shaped, but there were several Martians inside all the same.

The cylinder did not rock like a printer, nor did it make any fighting machines, or machines of any kind for that matter. Instead it seemed to be filled to the brim with what I assumed at first were juvenile Martians. They had stubs for arms, no visible eyes or mouth, and looked even more bloated than their mobile counterparts, who had started unloading them like cargo and casually setting them aside to roll like balloons. I stuck with the theory that they were Martian young until I saw one of the mobile Martians feed for the first time. At least, that’s what I think it was doing.

It took one of the bloodbags - that’s what I’ve started thinking of them as - up in one tentacle, and held a sharp, thin, long triangular tool in the other. I watched in fascinated horror as it punctured the bloodbag’s small body with the needle, which filled quickly with blood. It then poked around one of its own flippers with its tentacles and, satisfied, plunged the needle deep into its own skin, unloading the blood into its body. As it inoculated itself it made an awful hooting noise, like a cat with no vocal cords trying to hiss.

I realized all at once what use the Martians had for humans.

We’re still here in the basement, no apparent means of exit, waiting for the chance to escape. I’ll update you as soon as anything comes up.

Where I've Been

For Carrie’s and Penny’s benefit, I will now post an account of what happened to me over the last three days.

On the evening of the tenth, I did something monumentally stupid. I got so fed up with the state of the roads that I decided to just drive off the road and go across the countryside. If I went in a straight line, I reasoned, toward the coast, then I could get there faster and avoid the traffic. After all, the reason we don’t drive off the road is just a blind adherence to the laws of society, right? And those don’t apply anymore. That was what I was thinking.

Twenty minutes later, at the edge of what I thought was a path through some woods, two of my tires popped completely. I got out of my car and decided to head through the woods. That would provide cover from the war machines, I reasoned, while I looked for another car.

Three hours later my phone was dead, it was dark, and I had not found a car. I’m not sure what I had been expecting to happen. I suppose I just figured it would work out somehow. I was just about to give up and try to make some kind of shelter to spend the night when I felt a sharp pain in the back of my head, worse than any I’ve ever felt. As I lost consciousness, hands gripped me from behind and began dragging me away.

I think that’s all I can write for now. I’m trying to save the battery on this phone and I think the Martians are back at work unloading the cylinder, so we need to be as quiet as we can. I’ll tell you the rest as soon as it’s safe to do so, Care Bear.

Sorry it took me so long to get back to this. I believe/hope that the Martians have returned to their war machines and are currently stomping around elsewhere. Be warned, this next part is about to get pretty unpleasant.

I woke up to the sound of silence, a diluted warmth, and the slow buzzing of flies. There was a gag in my mouth and my hands and feet were tied up. I tried to sit up and my head screamed, forcing me back down. I was in some kind of tent or under some kind of cloth tarp, the light of day filtering through, some strange burnt smell surrounding me.

A groaning noise came from my left and my heart sped up. Painfully, I wrenched my head toward the noise and saw an older man, tied up and gagged like me. His clothes were dirtier than mine and his body was covered in sweat. He was black, which didn’t seem important at the time, but in retrospect, well…

I heard another noise, a shuffling of cloth, to my right, and I whipped around to see a burly white man peering in through a flap in the tent. “He’s awake,” the man shouted, keeping his eyes on me. I noticed a strap around his chest, a rifle at his hip, swaying lazily against his cargo shorts as he turned around and left, letting the tent flap fall back into place.

Two minutes or so passed and then another man entered, also white but considerably less burly and a lot older. He was dressed about as fancy as you can get, but the grass and dirt stains on his dress pants kind of detracted from the effect.

“Woof! It’s hot in here,” he said, a slight but dignified southern drawl in his voice. “Sorry about that. We put up these tents when it was a little nippy, you see, but once the aliens spread that red snow around, it started getting real warm.”

I just stared at him, physically and mentally unable to say anything.

“S’pose I should introduce myself,” he said, squatting down a bit to look me in the eye. “Where are my manners. I’m Jeremiah Montgomery. I’d tell you to call me Jerry, but, well…” He winced, and pointed to his mouth. “That’s for your sake, by the way. Keeps things easier. We didn’t want to have to do that sort of thing, doesn’t feel too great for us either, but the last few got mouthy, and, well, they don’t like it when it’s too mouthy here, you see. Got to keep on good terms or we risk this whole thing we’ve got goin’, and none of us want that.” He smiled, and there was a genuine warmth and sincerity in his grin that made me feel very cold.

“MNNH.” My fellow captive moaned, shifted. Jeremiah rolled his eyes.

“See? This is ‘xactly what I’m talking about. This one here walked right into us. Started rantin’ and ravin’ about demons. Reckon we did him a favor, really. He’d just go get himself killed anyway. Cleaner like this, don’tcha say?”

I shook my head. Not a no, but a fucking seriously, what are you on about? sort of head shake.

“Right. You’re not too happy with us, and I don’t blame you.” Jeremiah rubbed his palms on the knees of his dress pants, leaving little sweat stains. “Don’t take this personal though. We’re just tryin’ to live ‘smuch as anyone else right now. And I reckon we figured out how.

“See,” he continued, “fighting the aliens was never an option. I seen all the movies, I know they got the better of us. That’s why we struck up a deal with them. Or it seems that way. It’s keepin’ us alive, whatever it is they think of us.” He seemed to stare through me, caught up in a thought. “Maybe to them it’s like a farm cat bringin’ home a mouse. Ain’t-that-cute sorta deal. Maybe they just think we’re funny, we’re clowns puttin’ on a show. Flea circus.

“Personally I don’t really care what they think of us. Turns out if we hand ‘em over some folks what can’t squirm and make a fuss, ‘n if we make it clear that’s what we’re doing, they leave us be. There’s a spot they took a shine to, out in a clearing, where their weapon factory landed. They’ve got a big one ‘o those bug eye war machines keeping watch. If we just hand ‘em over one of our guests, like a sort of sacrifice, and then we back off, they just watch us go. Don’t make a move or nothin’. And they been avoidin’ our whole camp in return.”

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Was this man implying he and his group had made some kind of pact with the Martians, without even being able to communicate with them? And was he saying he planned to hand me over to them? What use did they even have for people?

“And so we’ve taken it upon ourselves to kill two birds with one stone. If we’re lookin’ to rebuild America in the shadow of these things, we gotta do it right. We’re cleaning up the land, now that we don’t have any opposition.” He chuckled, a good-natured noise, and bile rose up in my throat. “Half the bleedin’ hearts died with Starbucks lattes in their hand when the aliens showed up. Maybe the other half’ll wander in here, by the grace of God!

“Again, and I know you prolly don’t believe me, but this is nothin’ personal. Nothin’ against you or your people. You just don’t belong here, never did. It’ll keep the peace better if it’s just us on American soil, y’know? No race wars, no marchin’… it’s better for everyone. We’re finally gonna fix this thing.” He said this last part excitedly, like I should be on board with him and happy about it too, somehow.

“We already gave ‘em one for today. Tomorrow, we’ll try givin’ ‘em two.” He pointed at the other man and myself, as if he needed to explain what he meant, his face still screwed up in a jolly grin. “Who knows what’ll happen then? Maybe they’ll even give us somethin’.

“So.” He rubbed his palms on his pants again and raised himself back up to full height. “It’s been nice talkin’ to you, but I have to get going. Try and get a good night’s sleep. We’ll bring water for you in the morning, and if you need it sooner just holler. To the besta your ability.” He smirked - the first cruel expression I’d seen through the whole conversation, finally bleeding through his mask of hospitality. “We’ll hand you off to them tomorrow noon sharp.”

And then he retreated, and left me alone with only my thoughts and this whimpering stranger.

Penny & Anton


everyone expects me to know what’s going on here. not many people from my department made it down to this part of the tunnels, just professor ogilvy really. there’s a lot more dormside, but the dorm tunnels aren’t connected to the academic tunnels. jenna suggested digging through, and I know she means well but that. is some bullshit. we don’t have that kind of equipment down here. just a bunch of half broken science shit we’re never gonna use. oh, that and enough canned black beans to carry us through a very tasteless and unhealthy five months. incredible.

carrie is too close to rochester for comfort. I mean douglass is pretty big but I think if whatever doing this is targeting big cities & major population centers they’d go for rochester over douglass. not that I know what I’m talking about. idk if there’s even gonna be another cylinder.

I hope we get out of here as soon as possible. I hope I see carrie again soon, once all of this has passed over.


You’re on here venting, too?


anton I mean this in the nicest way possible but please mind your own goddam motherfucking business.

you’re my brother in law basically, and I will always try to be on good terms with you bc carrie loves you. but I can’t sit here and have a nice chat with someone who hears that 7000 people are dead, dismisses it as a misunderstanding, and uses it as an excuse to rant about conspiracy bullshit.


Why is what I believe in such a big deal to you? What made you so bitter, Penny Lowell?


I could care less what you believe. what hurts is the fact that you don’t seem to care about anyone else’s suffering. it’s like this is a joke to you.

that post on your blog, like, you REALLY can’t understand why people aren’t EXCITED about this? really? you must have no fucking empathy at all.

carrie insists you’re a loving person, that you have always taken care of her. that you’re a goofball and you have a heart of gold even if you come off as annoying. but I just don’t see it.

for my sake and yours, let’s just agree not to talk.



I’d like my first post on this website to be a discussion of this famous photo, the Mars Goblin.

Take a look at the object in the right of the image above. Many have claimed that this object looks like the head of a goblin, or some sort of statue. Some have suggested a similarity to the masks of the OLMEC people. Others have suggested an alien skull.

The above image doesn’t show the nearby escape pod, either, which is crucial to understanding the image. I’ll try to find that later, if NASA hasn’t scrubbed it from the internet.

What do you think? Is this a rock? Or something more?